After attending the Library Users Coalition meeting Tuesday night, it seems clear to me that most folks in the Walla Walla Valley do not want the addition of a new rural library in Walla Walla County. It is also clear that the Rural Library District is going to build one anyway.
In addition to the new facility, the RLD will also include new and remodeled buildings at Prescott, Burbank and Touchet. The total estimated cost for these new facilities and upgrades is $5.5 million.
The RLD currently has $3.2 million in reserve but the $2.3 million the RLD lacks will be borrowed and paid back using revenue from future library taxes. County residents currently pay $0.48 per $1,000 assessed property value.
I am not happy that my county tax dollars will be used to build a new library that I don't want.
But I can live with it if that is truly what the majority of taxpayers want.
Is it the best use of money? Not in my opinion. Also, if a high percentage of my library services are being withheld for a few years while waiting for a new facility, shouldn't the county library taxes be adjusted accordingly?
What bothers me most is that my family and I will have to rely on the Plaza Way location (no, I don't want to drive to Prescott, Touchet, Burbank or Vista Hermosa as I live just outside College Place city limits) until the new building is complete.
Am I grateful that I at least have something? Absolutely. I was told the RLD is "hoping" the new facility will be completed by the end of 2013.
I'm not too optimistic about that projected date since the RLD doesn't even have land yet.
Effective Dec. 31, I will spend the next few years taking my children to the small space at Plaza Way Library and hope that some day we can enjoy the good services and wonderful atmosphere that the existing Walla Walla Public Library offers us now. It's gonna be a long few years.